All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has pulled off arguably his best impersonation of a smiling crocodile, explaining why Australia are a major threat in the second Bledisloe Cup test.
Anxious that his team don't ease off at Eden Park on Saturday, Hansen showered the Wallabies with praise for their performance in the Sydney opener.
The world champions scored five tries in the second half of a 38-13 win, leaving them on the verge of a 15th straight defence of the silverware.
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Hansen, who had labelled Australia favourites for that test, doesn't buy into the consensus it was a one-sided affair - at least, not publicly.
"If you look back to the game with real honesty, they probably should have scored 4-5 tries," he said. "They just made wee mistakes, whether that's from fatigue or pressure from us, I'm not sure.
"Whilst it looks dominant on the scoreboard, I don't think it was that dominant on the park."
Hansen spoke of the importance that Australian rugby was strong and insisted that it still was, despite the regular lop-sided trans-Tasman results at Bledisloe Cup and Super Rugby level.
Hansen said he couldn't fathom the criticism directed at counterpart Michael Cheika this week.
Australia had pushed world number two Ireland in a tight 2-1 series loss in June. The scoreline blowout in Sydney was typical of a fast-paced match in which small differences can be magnified, he said.
"They're playing the number one team in the world, so because they lose to us, they're a poor side? I think that's probably naive."
Hansen's men can't realistically expect the same level of scrum and lineout dominance in Auckland, but he wants his team to attack with more precision, and not just rely on the visitors' mistakes and turnovers.
Hansen is also demanding mental buy-in from his players, who he fears will believe their own headlines and fail to lift again.
"In sport, it's the hardest thing to do, especially playing the same opponent," he said.
"Whether we like it or not, subconsciously, the scoreboard has an affect on us."